The US is at risk of losing $155 billion due to a decrease in the number of visitors during 2020 as a result of the Coronavirus outbreak.

Recent research conducted by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) shows that the lack of tourists could lead to a drop on international spending by 79 per cent in the economy of the US, which is equal to $425 million a day, or nearly $3 billion per week.

At the same time, around 12.1 million jobs in the US created by the travel and tourism industry could be lost as a consequence of tourists’ absence. In 2019, 16.8 million jobs in the US, or 10.7 per cent of the total country’s workforce was supported by the same industry, generating $1.8 trillion, or 9 per cent to the American economy, VisaGuide.World reports.

WTTC President & CEO, Gloria Guevara, said that the lack of tourists during COVID-19 pandemic could take over $155 billion from the US economy alone, equal to $425 million a day. She highlighted that this situation could take years to recover and could endanger New York’s position as one of the major centres for business and leisure travel.

Among other things, President Guevara suggested replacement of quarantine measures with rapid and cost-effective testing and tracing programmes at country’s departure points. She expressed her optimism that such an investment could have better impact compared to quarantine that is leading to destructive socio-economic consequences.

A fast turnaround test and trace system in place for all departing passengers means that governments could consider reinstating travel between America and major international hubs, a move which would help kick-start the economic global recovery,” she added.

Meanwhile, $195.1 billion, accounting for 16 per cent was the amount of the total tourism spending that the country reached during 2019, according to the WTTC analysis. Moreover, each month the US accounted for nearly $16.3 billion, or $3.7 billion a week, and $534.5 million a day just from the spending from international travellers.

Amid 2016 and 2018, the biggest sources of incomes in the US were travellers from the following countries:

  1. Canada and Mexico accounting for 26 per cent and 24 per cent of all international arrivals respectively
  2. The UK with 6 per cent of international arrivals
  3. Japan with 5 per cent of international arrivals

2018 data show the importance of the amount spent by international tourists and travels in New York, compared to the US in general. New York accounted for 45 per cent of all tourism spending in the city, with the other 55 per cent made up by internal tourists.

Meanwhile, the largest sources of incomes in New York City were travellers from the following countries:

  1. The UK with 9 per cent of international arrivals
  2. China with 8 per cent of international arrivals
  3. Canada and Brazil with 7 per cent of international arrivals each

WTTC together with its members has urged President Donald Trump and other leaders of G7 countries to come up with a coordinated approach that could lead to effective solutions during this crisis.